French airport management company Societe Concessionnaire des Aeroports has dismissed allegations e-mailed to news organizations by an anonymous employee that it illegally burned receipts last year for fees collected at Siem Reap International Airport.
Although the receipts were burned in June, this is a normal and legal procedure, the company said this week, adding that an isolated and disgruntled staffer had made the allegations.
“In July 2005, our finance department in Siem Reap completed records disposal. This is done in line with our normal procedure for documents such as stocks of PSC [Passenger Service Charge] or car park tickets,” SCA spokesman Norinda Khek wrote in an e-mail on Monday.
He added that SCA has documents substantiating the receipts and that the Ministry of Finance’s tax department also has the documents.
“There was no ill-intention in the acts mentioned by the author of the anonymous e-mail. As you may be aware, all big corporations are subject to libels from isolated, disgruntled employees claiming to speak on behalf of a group,” he wrote.
He added in a subsequent e-mail that the receipts were mostly from 2000 to 2002.
An employee involved in the burning of receipts made his accusation on Sunday.
“This action is illegal because the Tax Auditor from Tax Dept [did] not conduct any audit yet,” the employee, who did not give a name, alleged.
The chairman of the National Audit Authority said Wednesday that the NAA has never audited SCA’s Siem Reap airport operations.
“The authority would like to conduct an audit when it gets enough staff,” Ut Chhorn said.
Sinn Chan Sereyvutha, the director of planning and policy at the State Secretariat for Civil Aviation, said burning of revenue documents can only occur after auditing is complete and if the documents are over five years old. He said the private firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers regularly audits SCA.
“To me, SCA is a reliable company, it has no problem paying taxes to the government,” he said.
Sao Vanthana, deputy director of Siem Reap Airport, said he was unaware of the burning.
“From day to day, there are a lot of office documents. The unnecessary documents can be destroyed after a five-to-10-year period,” he said.